Mulder is out and John Doggett is in as Scully’s new partner on the X-Files. Originally recruited for a special FBI task force to find Mulder (who may or may not have been abducted by aliens), Doggett and Scully start off on the wrong foot but by the end of the season, generally work well together. As a veteran FBI agent on the X-Files, Scully’s skepticism and need for proof seems to have been satisfied and for quite a bit of season eight she almost personifies Mulder while Doggett becomes the skeptical partner.
The first half of season eight focuses on the search for Mulder, working in a few monster of the week episodes here and there. The last half is all about *SPOILER ALERT* Scully’s pregnancy and whether or not her unborn child is an alien baby. We also meet Agent Monica Reyes, who joins the series full time in season nine.
From a critical standpoint, season eight is very uneven as viewers have to adjust to a new working chemistry between Scully and Doggett. The show starts to show its age a little and you can feel that the producers and writers were running out of steam. The addition of Doggett and Reyes, besides filling a character hole left by Mulder’s absence, were probably brought in to give the series life beyond the central characters of Mulder and Scully and while they were fine in their own way, they just weren’t the heart and soul of the X-Files.
Here are a few stand-out episodes from season eight:
Episode 1: Within. Important to watch as viewers meet John Doggett and learn about his assignment to find Mulder.
Episode 3: Patience. Doggett and Scully work on their first case not involving the search for Mulder and realize their investigative techniques are nothing alike.
Episode 4: Roadrunners. Scully is out on her own and is taken by a satanic cult that worships a worm like creature. Gross content alert!
Episode 6: Redrum. Doggett’s friend is on trial for the murder of his wife and while trying to clear his own name, finds that his days are moving backward. The best episode of the season.
Episode 17: Empedocles. Mulder and Doggett work a case together but neither trust the other.
Episode 21: Existence. Scully’s baby is born.